28 August 2005

Liberals question continued use of AFP for ACT Policing

| johnboy
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The Canberra Times is reporting that the Liberals have begun to question the value of continuing with the un-accountable Australian Federal Police providing “policing outcomes” to the ACT. (Sadly the article doesn’t reflect on the drawback on the same force collecting the data which determines those outcomes).

This has been brought on by the recent woefull lack of transparency on a number of cases. Personally I’m aware of former Ministers for Police from both sides of politics lamenting in public (albeit off the record) their inability to get ACT Policing to do anything.

But the Chief Police Officer sums up what the AFP thinks is a good level of accountability in this very article.

Chief police officer Audrey Fagan backed Mr Hargreaves, saying the police purchase agreement ensured that the service was accountable to the ACT police minister on an annual basis.


annual |ˈanyoōəl|
occurring once every year

So once a year is enough for this tiresome accountability business? The police of Canberra should be accountable to the ACT Assembly every single day of the year.

In any event, if the ACT can’t credibly suggest an alternative, we’ve got no sort of position at the negotiating table. For that alone it would be worth working up alternative arrangements even if, in the end, they aren’t pursued.

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The problem is the contract or agreement or whatever it is is ‘outcome based’ eg: police canberra effectivley. So it has no reference to numbers of policek, response times to emergency calls etc. It needs fixing. I’d rather have one more police person than a bill of rights.

What they need to think back to that in 1979 the ACT Police became part of the AFP when it was formed. If the ACT Police were once again to become a seperate entity who do you think would make up the numbers?

There was an article next to this one from the AFP Association calling for more Police and that numbers have dropped to under 600. I thought Canberra was getting bigger?

On this note the Liberals were saying in the Election campaign that they were going to add another 120 Police to the streets. They don’t seem to be jumping up and down about that. Mind you labour said they would add 140. Then the article a while back said they were getting 20. (I don’t know how to link but its on this site.)

“So once a year is enough for this tiresome accountability business? The police of Canberra should be accountable to the ACT Assembly every single day of the year.”

Take Customs for example – file an annual report which is their accountability. To compile such a report daily on a large organisation wouldn’t exactly be a viable option.

The legislative assembly don’t want the specifics that some Civic beat copper locked up some drunk on Friday night because he was pissing on a shopfront window.

Maybe I’m off track and just rambling.


Normally you’d say ‘what will it take to change this – for someone to die??’ but gee – that seems to happen quite regularly in civic these days….
I think more police would be a good thing.
When do the ACT pollies get to re-negotiate their contract with the Feds? It can’t be endless.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart2:57 pm 28 Aug 05

I suppose the annual accountability occurs on a public holiday so it never needs to actually happen.

I wonder if a giant global mirror project would enable us to have disinfectant 24/7?

Worth noting for those who take the Frenzal Rhomb view of policing that what’s being proposed won’t change the nature of the police or the business (or the corrosive scum of the earth our police are forced to deal with on a daily basis).

But more transparency and accountability (no, not once a year) would help prevent all manner of unpleasant things festering.

US Supreme Court Justice Louis Bradies put it best.

Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.

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